|Graffiti Bridge is the twelfth full-length studio album by Prince, and the companion album to the motion picture, Graffiti Bridge. It was released worldwide in August 1990 (fourteen months after his previous album, Batman).
For the first time, Prince included on the album tracks he had written and produced for other artists (also included in the movie), and singles were also released to support those artists.
The album was largely made up of older tracks which had been revived from the vault and reworked for release, and could be considered a "greatest hits" of unreleased material.
Work on a movie script for Graffiti Bridge began in September 1987. Several songs that were mentioned in the first drafts were not kept as the movie underwent further changes (Ruthie Washington Jet Blues, Camille, Everything Could Be So Fine, XYZ, Crucial, Power Fantastic, Beatown, Big Tall Wall, The Grand Progression, U, Cool 1990, Billie Holiday, Stimulation and Born Free). The first known configuration of the album was dated 25 September 1988, however, and a few other configurations are known to have been made in 1989 and 1990 (see below). In late 1988, Prince used some of the same tracks for the planned album, Rave Unto The Joy Fantastic, but this appears to have been a separate project.
Several other musicians are listed as contributors on the album, but most appear with only minor contributions, with the bulk of the work on the album done by Prince alone.
Sessions and compiling
Tracks were recorded throughout the 1980s. Tick, Tick, Bang was recorded in 1981, before the album version was recorded in 1989. Can’t Stop This Feeling I Got was initially recorded in 1982, then re-recorded in Summer 1986, before the album version was recorded in 1989.
We Can Funk was initially recorded on New Year’s Eve 1983 (as We Can Fuck), then re-recorded in Summer 1986, before the album version, based on the 1983 recording was worked in 1989. The Question Of U was recorded in Summer 1985, with additional recording in late 1987. Joy In Repetition was recorded in Summer 1986. The Latest Fashion was initially recorded by Prince in Spring 1987. Graffiti Bridge was recorded in Summer 1987.
Melody Cool was also recorded in Summer 1987 (and was at one point planned for the Rave Unto The Joy Fantastic album), before lead vocals by Mavis Staples were overdubbed in late 1989. Still Would Stand All Time and Elephants & Flowers were recorded in October 1988 (and were at one point planned for the Rave Unto The Joy Fantastic album).
Release It, Love Machine and Shake! were recorded in Summer 1989 for The Time’s Corporate World (along with a reworking of The Latest Fashion), but were moved to Graffiti Bridge when the album was revamped to become Pandemonium. Round And Round was recorded in late 1989, around the same time New Power Generation was reworked from Bold Generation. The final recording for the album, Thieves In The Temple, took place in February 1990.
The album produced five commercially-released singles, Thieves In The Temple (which preceded the album), Round And Round (by Tevin Campbell), Melody Cool (by Mavis Staples), New Power Generation and Shake! (by The Time).
Tick, Tick, Bang and The Question Of U were also planned to be singles at one point, with The Question Of U planned as the album’s first single until Thieves In The Temple was recorded and chosen as the first single.
Prince did not tour to support the album, although he was close to the end of the Nude Tour when the album was released, and he regularly played a track or two from the album in shows.
The album reached number 6 on the US Billboard Top Pop Albums Chart and number 6 on the US Billboard Top Black Albums Chart.
The album was certified gold by the RIAA two months and a half after release , indicating 500,000 copies shipped in the USA.
- Prince - all vocals and instruments, except where noted
- Morris Day - drums on New Power Generation, lead vocals on Release It, Love Machine, Shake! and The Latest Fashion
- Levi Seacer, Jr. - distortion samples on New Power Generation, bass guitar and backing vocals on Graffiti Bridge
- Rosie Gaines - background vocals on New Power Generation (credited for "vocal icing")
- New Power Generation - background chant on New Power Generation (participants unknown)
- Jerome Benton - background vocals on Release It, Love Machine, crowd noise on The Latest Fashion
- Candy Dulfer - saxophone on Release It, Love Machine and The Latest Fashion
- David Garibaldi - drums on Release It (uncredited, sampled loop from Squib Cakes by Tower Of Power)
- Tevin Campbell - lead vocals on Round And Round, vocals on Graffiti Bridge and New Power Generation (Pt. II)
- Eric Leeds - saxophone on We Can Funk
- Atlanta Bliss - trumpet on We Can Funk
- Wendy Melvoin - guitar and background vocals on We Can Funk (uncredited)
- Lisa Coleman - keyboards and background vocals on We Can Funk (uncredited)
- Joseph "Amp" Fiddler - additional keyboards and background vocals on We Can Funk
- George Clinton - co-lead vocals on We Can Funk
- Garry Shider - background vocals on We Can Funk
- Steve Boyd - background vocals on We Can Funk
- William Payne - background vocals on We Can Funk
- Belita Woods - background vocals on We Can Funk
- Tracey Lewis - background vocals on We Can Funk
- Mike Harris - background vocals on We Can Funk
- Pat Lewis - background vocals on We Can Funk
- Sandra Dance - background vocals on We Can Funk
- Elisa Fiorillo - vocals on Love Machine and New Power Generation (Pt. II) (uncredited for the latter, sampled loop from Oobey Doop)
- Mitch Mitchell - drums on Tick, Tick, Bang (uncredited, sampled loop from Little Miss Lover by The Jimi Hendrix Experience)
- Jana Anderson - background voice on Shake!
- Lester Chambers - harmonica on Thieves In The Temple (sampled from I Can’t Stand It by The Chambers Brothers, uncredited)
- Robin Power - crowd noise on The Latest Fashion, background voice on New Power Generation (Pt. II)
- Tom Garneau - crowd noise on The Latest Fashion
- Michael Koppelman - crowd noise on The Latest Fashion
- Staples Mavis Staples - lead vocals on Melody Cool, vocals on Graffiti Bridge and New Power Generation (Pt. II)
- Jevetta Steele - background vocals on Melody Cool and Still Would Stand All Time
- Fred Steele - background vocals on Melody Cool and Still Would Stand All Time
- JD Steele - background vocals on Melody Cool and Still Would Stand All Time
- Jearlyn Steele - background vocals on Melody Cool and Still Would Stand All Time
- Boni Boyer - organ and background vocals on Graffiti Bridge
- Sheila E. - drums and background vocals on Graffiti Bridge
- T.C. Ellis - rap on New Power Generation (Pt. II)
- Prince - producer and arranger, except where noted
- Levi Seacer, Jr. - co-producer and co-arranger on Release It and Love Machine
- Clare Fischer - orchestra arrangement on Graffiti Bridge
- Junior Vasquez - remix on Round And Round (Electric Lady Studios, New York, NY, USA)
- David Z. - mix on we Can Funk
- Keith "K.C." Cohen - mix on Melody Cool
- Susan Rogers - engineer and mix on Joy In Repetition (Sunset Sound, Hollywood, CA, USA)
- Femi Jiya - engineer (Paisley Park Studios, Chanhassen, MN, USA)
- Michael Koppelman - engineer (Paisley Park Studios, Chanhassen, MN, USA)
- Dave Friedlander - engineer (Paisley Park Studios, Chanhassen, MN, USA)
- Tom Garneau - engineer (Paisley Park Studios, Chanhassen, MN, USA)
- Eddie Garcia - engineer (Paisley Park Studios, Chanhassen, MN, USA)
- Mark Plati - engineer and programmer on Round And Round (Electric Lady Studios, New York, NY, USA)
- Larry Ferguson - engineer (United Sound Studio, Detroit, MI, USA)
- Coke Johnson - assistant engineer (Sunset Sound, Hollywood, CA, USA)
- Howie Weinberg and Michael Koppelman - mastering (Masterdisk)
- Steve Parke - cover illustration
- Tom Recchion - art direction
- Margo Chase - logos
- Bob McNamara - portraits of Prince
- "Special thanks in alphabetical order 2: Harlan Austin, Marylou Badeaux, Jerome Benton, Jerry Breslauer, Skip Brittenham, Tevin Campbell, Mark Canton, Nancy Chapman, Ingrid Chavez, [ Clinton George Clinton, Gilbert Davison, Morris Day, T.C. Ellis, David Friedlander, Tom Garneau, Bill Gerber, Sal Greco, Helen Hiatt, Earl Jones, Michael Koppelman, Matthew Larson, Alan Leeds, Peter McDonald, Benny Medina, Duane Nelson, Michael Ostin, Mo Ostin, Robbie Paster, Randy Phillips, Robin Power, Lisa Reker, Craig Rice, Jim Shearon, Billy Sparks, Mavis Staples, The Steeles, Arnold Stiefel, Gary Stiffelman, Therese Stoulil, Ron Sweeney, Russ Thyret, The Time, Lenny Waronker, Jill Willis, David Z. and U.
- "May U live 2 see the Dawn"